Bolzano

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Enjoy Bolzano - Bozen & eat fresh at the morning markets in Piazza Erbe
Enjoy Bolzano - Bozen & eat fresh at the morning markets in Piazza Erbe
Discover the delights of the medievil city centre of Bolzano
Discover the delights of the medievil city centre of Bolzano
Snow in Bolzano
Snow in Bolzano's Via dei Portici is pure bliss
The Dolomites & Val Gardnea ski resort are close to Bolzano-Bozen
The Dolomites & Val Gardnea ski resort are close to Bolzano-Bozen
Val di Fassa ski resort is easy to reach from Bolzano
Val di Fassa ski resort is easy to reach from Bolzano
Bolzano is a 30min drive from the sneaky secret stash of Reinswald ski resort
Bolzano is a 30min drive from the sneaky secret stash of Reinswald ski resort
Bolzano has a local ski hill above the city called Renon-Rittner
Bolzano has a local ski hill above the city called Renon-Rittner
Obereggen is the closest major Dolomites ski area to Bolzano
Obereggen is the closest major Dolomites ski area to Bolzano
Plose is a
Plose is a 'boutique' Dolomites ski resort north of Bolzano near Bressanone
Bolzano-Bozen has the largest Christmas markets in the region from laete Nov to early Jan
Bolzano-Bozen has the largest Christmas markets in the region from laete Nov to early Jan
Bolzano - Bozen train station is an important link between Austria, Italy & the Dolomites ski resorts
Bolzano - Bozen train station is an important link between Austria, Italy & the Dolomites ski resorts
The Renon cable car is a local attraction that departs from Bolzano
The Renon cable car is a local attraction that departs from Bolzano
The Renon railway is a fun diversion for exploring the plateau above Bolzano
The Renon railway is a fun diversion for exploring the plateau above Bolzano
Castel Roncolo near Bolzano has incredible frescoes to behold
Castel Roncolo near Bolzano has incredible frescoes to behold
Bolzano attractions include local hamlets & natural features like the Earth Pyramids.
Bolzano attractions include local hamlets & natural features like the Earth Pyramids.
Earth Pyramids near Bolzano
Earth Pyramids near Bolzano
The Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano houses the incredible Oetzi the Iceman exhibit
The Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano houses the incredible Oetzi the Iceman exhibit
Bolzano accommodation like the Laubenhaus Apartments is exceptional
Bolzano accommodation like the Laubenhaus Apartments is exceptional
Hotel Castel Hörtenberg is another amazing Bolzano lodging option
Hotel Castel Hörtenberg is another amazing Bolzano lodging option
Explore the Dolomites from Bolzano
Explore the Dolomites from Bolzano

Bolzano

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Bolzano

Bolzano4.5/51
Bolzano4.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Bolzano, South Tyrol - Alto Adige

The historic city of Bolzano (a.k.a. Bozen) is an important transport hub & gateway to the numerous ski resorts of the South Tyrol in Italy including all the Dolomites & Ortler Ski Region, amongst a host of others. A multi-lingual centre, where Italian often comes second to local German & Ladin dialects, Bolzano-Bozen is also a fabulous place to visit in & of itself. There is a fascinating medieval city centre, several local castles, intriguing museums to explore, plus outstanding accommodations, bars & restaurants to experience. Bolzano is also the home of Ötzi the Iceman, a unique discovery worth the trip this great city alone.

Pros & Cons for Bolzano

Pros

  • Vibrant & beautiful city centre.
  • Diverse cultural & historic attractions.
  • Fabulous place to unwind, wander, stroll, discover & relax, plus it does not feel ‘touristy’ in winter.
  • Incredible accommodation in the ‘old town’ with excellent availability in winter (except Saturday nights).
  • Magnificent range of micro-brew pubs, cafes, bars, restaurants & shops, including regular outdoor markets.
  • Excellent public transport access by train from & to anywhere in Italy & Austria.
  • Numerous world-class Italian ski resorts within 2 hours or less by car, train &/or bus.

Cons

  • Beyond the old town, Bolzano is a sprawling city divided by a busty motorway & some ‘undesirable’ suburbs.
  • Car parking can be difficult (at least initially).

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Mild winter climate – generally does not have snow in the city in winter.
  • The city centre is pedestrian only & anyone with a car will need to find a park.

Skiing & Snowboarding near Bolzano

At only 262m elevation, Bolzano has a strange winter micro-climate that can make is seem a lot warmer in the region than it truly is. However, it is in the middle of two huge & diverse ski regions with peaks up to over 3,400m elevation – the Dolomites & Ortler Ski Region, plus it even has its own local ‘ski hill’ to the north of the city – Renon (also part of the Ortler Ski Region). The Brenta Dolomites are also within a short drive.

To the east, the Dolomites rise spectacularly. Anyone with a rental car could do day trips to the closest resorts at Val di Fassa, Val Gardena & Val di Fiemme-Obereggen, & smaller Plose not far to the north. Each is also accessible by public transport from Bolzano, but travel times make day trips a questionable endeavour to all of them with the possible exceptions of Plose & Obereggen. Every Dolomites ski resort is no more than 2hr drive from Bolzano.

To the west & north, the high peaks of the Ortler region dominate the Val Venosta past Merano. Glacier resorts including Solda-Sulden & Val Senales, mix with the likes of Belpiano, Trafoi & numerous others. The valley holds the incredible village of Glorenza (Glurns) & ice sports on the Resia Lake amongst its drowned belltower.

In the Sarntal, 30km from Bolzano, the powder hounds secret stash resort of Reinswald is a fun, sneaky day trip, but a car is required.

South west of Bolzano, the Brenta Dolomites rise & hold the classic Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio. This list goes on …….

Things to Do in Bolzano

Bolzano is a marvellous city in which to recuperate from or prepare for a ski trip in the Dolomites or Alps. There is plenty to discover & keep one occupied, even in winter.

See the Bolzano city map.

First & foremost in the medieval town centre, one will want to explore the shops, lanes, bars & restaurants along the portico-lined Laubengasse (a.ka. Via dei Portici). Find yourself a seat at one of the local bars like Hopfen & Co, then watch the day go by. This area, the Piazza delle Erbe (or Obstplatz), is home to the daily morning street market (except Sundays) where you can find fresh produce & taste local specialties. If in Bolzano around Christmas, the night markets are a wonderful local tradition held in the Walther Square from late November to early January.

See the Bolzano inner city map.

Further along the Via dei Portici, it becomes Via Museo where the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology houses the fascinating Ötzi the Iceman – a 5,300 year old human found perfectly preserved in a melting glacier near Val Senales ski resort in the late 1990s. A ‘must see’ insight into how humans survived in the mountains all those years ago. Other museums include those dedicated to local nature, art, culture, & economy; none of them as interesting as seeing Oetzi & his way of life.

The 13th century Mareccio Castle is just a few minutes stroll from the centre of town. Surrounded by grape vines it is not open to public but is fine to wander around. Bolzano’s other castles discreetly guard the heights around the city & all are open the public at various times throughout winter. The spectacular Runkelstein Castle (Castel Roncolo) is a lovely 3km walk north of the city & dates back to 1237AD. Aside from its splendid location, the castle is best known for its secular frescoes throughout the interior. Haselburg Castle (Castel Flavon) is propped on a rocky outcrop on the eastern side of the city. Its fine-dining restaurant nestled amongst the castle’s upper walls is the main reason to visit in winter. The fourth castle, Sigmundskron, rests prominently on a rocky outcrop that has held a stronghold for over 1000 years. Sigmundskron Castle has been renovated and turned into a Messner Mountain Museum – an intriguing mix of mountaineering, art & history which is designed more to be about the impact of mountains on people but has a rather polarising impact on those visiting.

At the eastern end on the city an interesting journey into the mountains can be undertaken by cable car & train. The Renon Cable Car departs from the valley up to Soprabolzano (Oberbozon), 1000m above the town. From there one can catch the narrow-gauge trams on the Renon Railway to the village of Collalbo-Klobenstein. From there the route 165 bus heads to Longostagno & the naturally formed Earth Pyramids (hoodoos!)(Erdpyramiden or Piramidi di terra), which would look more at home in Cappadocia Turkey! The numerous hamlets in the area offer lovely distractions including ice-skating on natural ponds in winter.

Where is Bolzano-Bozen Italy?

Bolzano-Bozen is in the province of Südtirol (South Tyrol or Alto Adige) in northeast Italy. The world’s best ski city of Innsbruck Austria is 120km north of Bolzano or around 2hr by the most direct trains. To the south, the city of Verona is 155km by road & only 1½hr travel time by the fastest trains on the route.

For all international travellers, the best gateway airports to Bolzano (& the Dolomites) are Munich (MUC), Venice Marco Polo (VCE), or at a stretch, Milan Malpensa (MXP) airport. For flights originating in the UK, Europe or Scandinavia, Innsbruck (INN) airport in Austria is an excellent starting point, particularly if renting a car.

The train is the recommended mode of travel to Bolzano, however if intending to use a rental car for access to the local ski resorts, then we recommend sourcing a fully winterised rental from Austria at Innsbruck, then driving from there.

See the local train network map.

Train links from Munich & Innsbruck to Bolzano via the Brenner Pass are excellent. From the south, trains from Venice & Milan link easily to Bolzano via Verona’s Porta Nuova railway station.

Search & book train tickets to Bolzano.

Bolzano Accommodation

If touring the Dolomites but you just want to stay in a city with charm & character, Bolzano is the closest & most convenient to all the ski resorts. With a rental car it is possible to do day trips to most resorts, with some days being longer than others! Bolzano isn’t all roses though. It has a sprawling outer suburban area lining the autostrade to the south. A key to enjoying Bolzano is to stay in its old town centre, or on the mountainside to the city’s north.

Whilst there are several charming hotels in the city, the amazing Laubenhaus self-contained apartments above the gorgeous porticoed arcades of the Bolzano old town shopping precinct are without equal. Hotels worth looking in the centre of town include Hotel Feichter, Hotel Figl & Hotel Greif. Simple but elegant rooms in a beautiful 400year old building are available at Sir Thomas Bed&More B&B. For something different, on the northern outskirts, the rooms & grounds at Hotel Castel Hörtenberg & Villa Anita are outstanding.

Search & book all Bolzano accommodation.

Reviews

The Powderhounds have visited Bolzano in all seasons & adore it. We think it worth a visit on any winter trip in the region to experience the wonderful local culture.

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Tours in or near Bolzano

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

SPECIAL Dolomites Ski Safari
HOSTED SKI SAFARI | DOLOMITES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
A special ski adventure set amongst the awe inspiring landscape of the Dolomites. Linking 9 ski resorts via groomed slopes by ski, taxi, helicopter & snowmobile, spend 5 nights in mountain rifugi under the guidance of your dedicated host. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on fixed date tours, twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO incl taxes.
USD 3,055
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CLASSIC Dolomites Ski Safari
HOSTED SKI SAFARI | DOLOMITES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
The very best skiing in the Dolomites linking 6 ski resorts & spending 4 nights in mountain rifugi under the guidance of your dedicated host. Ski the best groomed trails in the Dolomites on this classic ski safari. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on fixed date tours, twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO incl taxes.
USD 2,376
View Details
 
Magic Dolomites & Austrian Alps Ski Safari
ALL INCLUSIVE DELUXE PRIVATE SKI SAFARI
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Fully hosted & guided deluxe private ski safari taking in the best Dolomites & Austrian ski resorts over 10 days. Stay in 4 & 5-star hotels, enjoy the all inclusive meals & be transported by luxury van to each new destination. Private groups only for up to 10 people - apply for your best dates.
Price p/p From price based on 10 days, private group of 4, twin share
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations
USD 8,687
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Bolzano here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Skiare SILVER Packages
MIXED GROUP GUIDED INSTRUCTIONAL PACKAGES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Make the most of your Dolomites ski holiday with a MIXED GROUP guide / instructor who will show you many of the great sights & ski areas whilst helping you to improve your skiing. Whilst this example package is based on 7 nights, packages are fully CUSTOMISABLE from 3 days plus and can start from any day of the week.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share in a 3-star hotel room during medium season (Dec 1 - 23, Jan 6 - Feb 2, Mar 10 - 24).
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,808
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Skiare GOLD Packages
PRIVATE GUIDED INSTRUCTIONAL PACKAGES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Make the most of your Dolomites ski holiday with a private guide / instructor who will show you many of the great sights & ski areas whilst helping you to improve your skiing. Whilst this example package is based on 7 nights, packages are fully CUSTOMISABLE from 3 days plus and can start from any day of the week.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share in a 3-star hotel room during medium season (Dec 1 - 23, Jan 6 - Feb 2, Mar 10 - 24).
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,848
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Dolomites Powder Skiing Safari
GUIDED POWDER SKI SAFARI | DOLOMITES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This is the ultimate guided Dolomites powder ski safari incorporating lifts & touring to access the best the area has to offer. Experience a night in a classic mountain hut & ski up to 2,000 m vert descents. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on fixed date 8-day tours, min 7 people, twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,606
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Bolzano here
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